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AR2407 - Forensic Archaeology

[Offered in even-numbered years]

Credit points: 3
Year: 2014
Student Contribution Band: Band 1
Administered by: School of Arts and Social Sciences (pre 2015)

Human remains are a unique archaeological resource in that they allow direct contact with peoples of the past and provide information on physiology, diet, disease, genetics and behaviour that is not available from any other source. While the study of human remains from archaeological sites provides invaluable data for the reconstruction of societies in the past, it also places important responsibilities on those who conduct such studies. This subject provides a critical and global review of the kinds of evidence that can be used to study the people of the past and the investigative techniques and interpretative approaches that can be applied to such evidence. The subject will include reviews of burial practices and burial places; the kinds of human remains represented in the archaeological record; indirect sources of evidence; excavation methods and post-excavation treatment of human material; DNA, forensic and palaeopathological studies; anatomical reconstructions; palaeodemography and human remains as heritage. Significant emphasis is placed on the ethical, legal and moral issues that must be addressed in the recovery, study and treatment of human remains. Some lectures and tutorials in this subject will use illustrations of human remains recovered from archaeological contexts. None of these illustrations will depict remains from Australian Aboriginal sites.

Learning Outcomes

  • develop an appreciation of the ethical and legal responsibilities of archaeologists in the recovery, study and treatment of human remains;
  • develop an appreciation of the manner in which the study of human remains can assist in the reconstruction of societies in the past;
  • develop an understanding of the investigative techniques that can be applied to human remains;
  • introduce students to the range of archaeological evidence that is available for the study of human beings in the past.
Inadmissible
Subject
Combinations:
AR3407

Availabilities

Townsville, Internal, Study Period 1
Census Date 27-Mar-2014
Coord/Lect: Dr Nigel Chang.
Workload expectations:
  • 26 hours lectures
  • 12 hours workshops/Seminars - 4 X 3hr blocks
Assessment: quizzes or tests (30%); presentations (20%); essays (50%).

Cairns, Internal, Study Period 1
Census Date 27-Mar-2014
Coord/Lect: Dr Nigel Chang.
Workload expectations:
  • 26 hours lectures
  • 12 hours workshops/Seminars - 4 X 3hr blocks
Assessment: quizzes or tests (30%); presentations (20%); essays (50%).

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.